Webcor Project Leaders Take New Approach to Community Partnership With Success Centers

Webcor has partnered with Success Centers, a Bay Area-based nonprofit whose mission is to “empower marginalized community members through education, employment, and art."

April 8, 2022


Community engagement has long been a priority for Webcor, whether through annual volunteer events like Leap Sandcastle Classic and Best Buddies Challenge, building/maintaining relationships with Central Valley organizations offering Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculums, or creating fruitful partnerships with nonprofits dedicated to recruiting and training local residents interested in exploring AEC careers, such as Fortitude in the Peninsula area and Youth Employment Partnership in Oakland.

One of Webcor’s latest community-driven partnerships has been spearheaded by Sr. Safety Manager Kendall Cantave and Superintendent Tyrone Evans at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Biosolids Digester Facilities Project (BDFP). Thanks to Kendall and Tyrone’s unwavering dedication to seeking out hyper-local community-based organizations (with much-appreciated encouragement from Kathryn Mallon, who challenged them to go out and find such organizations), Webcor has partnered with Success Centers, a Bay Area-based nonprofit whose mission is to “empower marginalized community members through education, employment, and art so they may develop a positive self-image as well as a sense of hope and purpose for their future.” When Kendall and Tyrone presented their outreach project proposal to Sr. Construction Manager Ryan Fischer and Project Controls Director Rowena Domingo, both Ryan and Rowena enthusiastically offered their full support and approval.

“The BDFP team has always been committed to community engagement efforts and is actively participating in an array of events,” Kendall says. “Our partnership with Success Centers stemmed from our need to support an underrepresented organization that’s making great strides for the community in spite of a lack of resources and sponsorship. When we visited Success Centers, we were extremely impressed with their program, facility, organizational structure, and the game-changing community work they’ve been doing.”

The BDFP project team took a unique approach to this newly formed partnership by spearheading the development of the BDFP community art legacy presentation series. Together, the BDFP team and Success Centers will unveil a series of murals created by local artists working with the community’s youth that will be displayed along a dedicated wall at the BDFP job site (and will hopefully remain at the finished facility). The murals will serve as a platform for expressing the needs and challenges of the local community through visual artwork, Kendall says.

“The mural presentations will highlight their concerns and amplify their voices,” he says. “We’re reaching out to a diverse group of artists so that every ethnicity is represented and has the opportunity to share their story. Currently, we’re looking to unveil a new mural every quarter with different themes to cover every community base. The collage of artwork will be culturally diverse to create an inclusive atmosphere that will be appreciated by all.”

In February, Webcor and Success Centers unveiled “Roots,” the first mural of the presentation series, at the BDFP job site. COO Matt Rossie, HR Director Tim Wortham, Success Centers CEO Liz Jackson-Simpson, and muralist Eustinove P. Smith , who led the art project, were among the dozens of attendees who turned out for the long-awaited mural unveiling. SFPUC’s project management team and the BDFP project team also came out to support the event, which was organized and promoted by Safety Managers Jorge Torres and Olivia Watley.

Guided by the question “What do you need in order to be successful in life?”, Success Centers students developed the mural’s design concept through creative workshops and art classes. According to Success Centers, the title “Roots” is based on the symbol of a tree that bears roots, representing foundation and growth. “At the base of the tree, note the word ‘ROOTS’ formed from the tree’s actual roots. The tree base and roots operate as the core theme of this design. The message here is that all success stems from a strong foundation… The project was designed to provide an opportunity to create public art that reflected the values and ideologies of the participants of Success Centers.”

The next mural in the series will highlight SFPUC Commissioner President Sophie Maxwell, Tyrone says. The team expects to present the mural in June.

“Sophie Maxwell is an African-American woman who’s made a significant impact on District 10 (San Francisco’s Bayview district),” he says. “As a member of District 10’s community, I want to see more of our local young people join the trades. By partnering with Success Centers, Webcor can help give students that exposure to the industry.”

Tyrone’s field team worked with Success Centers students on building the mural’s sub-structure. He says Webcor will continue supporting Success Centers’ hyper-local students by training them on rigging, safety, first-aid, and forklift/high-reach aerial equipment operations — skills essential to succeeding in the building trades.

“The ultimate goal of our partnership with Success Centers is to co-create ideas and solutions that will produce a high probability for change that will lead to viable results for the community’s youth,” Kendall says. “We want to provide them with mentoring, guidance, and the essential skills needed to not just get a job, but to obtain employment with career growth opportunities.

“This partnership demonstrates our level of integrity by living up to our core value at the places we work, build, and maintain our presence. Our active involvement reflects our leadership, which is key to setting a collaborative tone and building trust between the community and our Webcor brand. It takes a comprehensive, holistic, personalized commitment to help community youth succeed and flourish. Our involvement will champion a promising path toward a successful life.

“On a personal note, I was raised and taught to give back. Helping others has always been part of my nature; it is rewarding to see tangible results. This critical work is my Legacy commitment.”